|Description:||In an effort to attract awareness to this housing crisis and increase the supply of inclusive housing, the LIFEhouse™, a universally designed concept home, was built in Newport Cove on northern Illinois’ famed Chain O’ Lakes. This project is a collaboration between suburban Chicago custom builders, New American Homes Inc., and the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) at the University at Buffalo. The LIFEhouse™ is based on a special concept home that emphasizes universally designed features and promotes safety and accommodation for people of all ages, throughout the lifespan. The IDeA Center’s staff collaborated with New American Homes Inc. to modify a typical Newport Cove house to include universal design features, while still reflecting neighboring houses in the community. This research/build partnership is working to develop residences that adapt to a person’s changing needs throughout his or her lifetime. Specifically, the house and site incorporate multisensory perception with universal design principles. Features include an unobtrusive bricked ramp; 42-inch wide front door with stepless entry; kitchen appliances all within reach, whether a person is sitting or standing; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant faucets, sinks and cabinets; two fully accessible baths; special lighting; memory niches; and easy-to-use handles on doors and cabinets. In 2012, the LIFEhouse™ team was selected to receive the Gold Award from among over 50 projects for the Best Universal Designed Home at the National Association of Home Builders International Home Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida. This award recognized the LIFEhouse™ project for producing a home that addresses the lifestyle and physical requirements of the baby-boom generation. LIFEhouse™ for a Hero is a second home currently under construction. When finished, the house will be given to an injured veteran through the Wounded Warrior program. The LIFEhouse™ for a Hero project is possible thanks to an anonymous donor who suggested the idea after visiting the original showcase.|
|Project/Activity Leader(s):||Beth Tauke, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Professor in Department of Architecture and Project Director, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA)|
|Unit:||School of Architecture and Planning|
|Funding Source:||National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago; Operation Finally Home; National Football League (NFL) Players Association, Chicago Chapter; suppliers like LP Building Products, Wausau Supply, Andersen Windows; local trades people and the Newport Cove, Illinois, community|
New American Homes Inc.
|Are UB students involved?||No|